Professional Bodies guidance
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)

In the event of death or illness of sufficient severity to prevent the practitioner communicating directly with clients, we will have appointed someone to communicate with clients and support them in making alternative arrangements where this is desired. The person undertaking this work will be bound by the confidentiality agreed between the practitioner and client, and will usually be a trusted colleague, a specially appointed trustee or a supervisor

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)

From 1 September 2023 our members must meet this expectation:

You must have a process in place to ensure that appropriate action will be taken if you were to unexpectedly become unavailable, for example, due to serious illness, death, suspension or dismissal. This is usually referred to as having a ‘clinical will’. Arrangements include identifying who will be responsible for informing and arranging support for your clients if you are suddenly unavailable, and ensure that any other relevant person or organisation such as a referring agency is also informed. Employers may have a policy to make sure that this happens, independent practitioners must arrange their own. Therapists must declare that they have arrangements in place that cover their practice.

British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC)

Ensure you have the appropriate Professional Trustees protocol in place You must appoint Professional Trustees who have consented and have access to the relevant patient information when needed. There must be written instructions for your Professional Trustees.

Counselling & Psychotherapy in Scotland (COSCA)

Organisational and individual members of COSCA should consider making ethical decisions about how they contract with clients and supervisees about unplanned endings. They also should consider making suitable arrangements for their clients and supervisees in the case of unexpected illness, death or any other professional incapacitation. These arrangements should be suited to the context in which the organisation and individual members work. The above arrangements may include organisations and individual having a policy or procedure to cover the above situations. This is often referred to as a clinical or professional will.

United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)

Points 27 & 28 of UKCP Code of Ethics and Professional Practice:

  • Make considered and timely arrangements for the termination of a therapeutic relationship, or if you are unable to continue to practise, ensuring that clients are informed and alternative practitioners are identified where possible.
  • Have arrangements in place for informing clients and, where appropriate, providing them with support in the event of your illness or death
  • ukcp-code-of-ethics-and-professional-practice-2019.pdf (
Get in touch

Please contact us if you have any questions about how professional clinical wills work, or to arrange a free initial meeting. You can also phone 07591662721 if you would prefer to leave a message or speak to us first.

All enquires are answered within 24 hours, and all contact is strictly confidential.

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